Thursday’s TPS Report: Sweater Jacket

Our daily TPS reports suggest one piece of work-appropriate attire in a range of prices.

Halogen® Sweater JacketThe Nordstrom Anniversary Sale continues (my picks here and here), and there is still a lot of things on sale (and some seem to have more sizes available than they did before). For today’s TPS I like this zigzag sweater jacket — it’s fun but has a tailored look to it as well. I think it looks great styled with purple and black here, but I would add a second color somewhere in the mix — perhaps a yellow brooch or a red cuff. The zigzag sweater jacket is available in regular and petite in XS, S, and M — the price is curently $64.90 but after August 6 it’ll go back to $98. (The sweater is also still available in rust, size M only, and charcoal, XSP only.) Halogen® Sweater Jacket

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  1. Today I have my first meeting with a Nordstrom’s personal stylist. Any suggestions on what to expect/ask etc..? Part of me wants to star with some basic advice…. what is my shape/size? What looks ok on me? And part of me is nervous that they expect me to drop a lot of $$ today.

    FWIW, I am a doc in training, starting a clinical fellowship. $ is tight still, but I need to clean up my look. Would like to start building a wardrobe – classic, with a twist.

    • Say what you just said! “I’m starting a clinical fellowship and need to clean up my work look. I like classic, with a twist. I typically spend $$$ per item.”

    • Bring shoes you are most likely to wear frequently (in different hell heights). Bring proper foundations (unless you are also shopping for those). Consider bringing any basics you already have that you want to work into your new purchases.

  2. anon for this :

    I need a little advice. The last day of my summer clerkship (small firm, small city) is a week from now. It seems like I should send out an email saying, hey, heads up, I’m almost done here. I feel like saying “Please let me know if there’s anything else I can be of assistance with” will just solicit extra work for my last week, and I already have plenty on my plate. Does anyone have suggestions of a good way to phrase this email? TYIA!

    • Dear office,

      It’s hard to believe that my time here is drawing to an end soon, and I’d like to thank everyone for making it a great experience by bringing in [coffee and doughnuts] next week. Please let me know if anyone is allergic to nuts/milk/eggs, so I can make sure everyone can enjoy.

    • At my office at least, normally people send such emails on their last day, not in advance. They usually say something about how much they enjoyed working here and include their contact info.

      • I agree I dont know why you would remind them you are leaving? they know right?

  3. I would be delighted to see more sweater jacket recs here. My frumpy office sweater really needs a comfortable alternative.

    And TJ: A friend is hosting a pampered chef party next week. Any of you have any PC stuff you just can’t live without? I don’t really NEED anything in my kitchen, but I’m happy to support my friend, and I know they make good stuff.

    • AnotherLadyLawyer :

      If you’re a big baker, they sell these measuring cup contraptions that are genius for peanut butter, sour cream, cream cheese, and other things that are a pain to get out of a standard measuring cup. They are sort of like plungers, where you adjust to the measure you need, scoop in the peanut butter, and then voila! They’re called Measure-Alls. I also have a pizza stone that I love, but probably only because I stole it from my mother after it was already “seasoned.”

      • That sounds brilliant! Definitely looking at measuring cups. Getting sticky stuff out of those is my baking bane.

      • Maine Associate :

        I have two of these measuring cups because I love them so much!
        I also love the large and small micro cooker. The small micro cooker is perfect for cooking a can of soup in the microwave when you are sick or heating frozen veggies.

    • There is a plastic microwaveable veggie steamer that my mom has that I am coveting. It has a handle, and you just put frozen veggies in there, and microwave them, and it is so easy! She also uses it to heat up broth to make risotto. I’ve been on the lookout for one that is similar, but haven’t been able to find one.

      • AnotherLadyLawyer :

        I have that one too (clearly I have too many kitchen gadgets). It’s great! Google tells me it is called a Micro-Cooker.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      There is a large glass mixing bowl with a pour spout and handle that is very user friendly. I’m not 100 percent sure it is PC (it was a gift) but if they have anything like it, we use ours a ton.

      Our landlord also left us a brand new PC oven mitt and whatever the square piece is that goes with the oven mitt (pot holder?). They are very thick, sturdy, comfy and work well. They are much nicer than any mitt I’ve seen in a traditional store.

      • It’s called the Batter Bowl (they have it in mini or classic) and it’s awesome. I’m not familiar with their new offerings, but 10 years ago (yikes!) I was a PC “consultant” for 6 months or so. I basically did a few shows at friends’ houses, and used all of my commissions (and then lots of my own money) to buy more of their stuff…

        The Measure-All cups (mentioned above) are great. I got a lot of use out of the Chopper.
        The Mix N’ Scrape is a great scraper/mixer (hence the name…). I actually really like their little paring knives, and if you don’t have a pizza stone, that’s also a useful thing to have (for pizzas, cookies, anything you want to bake or heat up and don’t want it to be soggy).

      • The Batter Bowl! I have two sizes and use them constantly.

    • Their pizza stone is the best I’ve found.

      • Second the suggestion for their pizza stone. I also love their stone 13×9 pan and their pizza cutters.

    • Confessions :

      I love the pineapple and apple slicers. It just makes cutting the fruit so much easier.

    • Love the PC garlic press and cheese grater – use both all the time. Also love the Ultimate Slice and Grate (basically a cheaper version of a classic mandoline slicer) as well as the cookie and muffin scoops. Second to the batter bowl mentioned earlier and the measuring cups that you can push out the sticky stuff with. I actually have quite a lot of the PC stuff and it’s all getting to be 12-15 years old – the stuff really holds up!

    • Migraine Sufferer :

      I have these little glass prep bowls with plastic lids that I use all the time. I’m not sure if PC still sells them but I would buy more if I someone I knew was selling PC products.

      • I have the same glass prep bowls – love them and use them basically any time I cook anything, plus use them for storage.

  4. My new faculty member is young and adorable but on her first day of work, she wore a very tight short shift dress with a slit in the back that pulled apart making it show even more. She looks great (cute figure) but I’m afraid that this won’t cut it once she starts going to campus meetings and teaching. Should I say something or give her some time to figure it out? We used to have someone with a very large chest who wore really low v-necks and people kind of gossiped about her. I’d hate for that to happen. We are anything but conservative, but…

    • Professor TBA :

      If it were me, I would want to know. But you might give her some time–maybe this was a one-time mistake, and she realized too late that when she was actually walking around, it was actually way too short.

    • Research, Not Law :

      Is she new to being faculty? (ie, she just recently finished her PhD?) If so, I’d give her more time and try to say something only if she continues to dress provocatively. Although I’m not sure how I would phrase it, I would include the story of the low-cut gossip.

      If she has been in a faculty position elsewhere and is simply new to your dept/school, I probably wouldn’t say anything. I’d assume she knew what she was doing.

      • This is her first job out of grad school. Her clothes are very nice and I think unintentionally provocative. It’s just that her dresses are really short.

        • LadyEnginerd :

          I’d only say something if she doesn’t settle in by the time classes start. Slightly provocative in an adults only environment is one thing. Slightly provocative in front of a lecture hall of 19-year olds is going to be an entirely different ballgame.

          That is, unless she actually wants the social networks lighting up about her being the hot professor. I guess that’s one way to increase enrollment in your classes?

          • Yeah that could be since she’s so young! Honestly, the only time I have ever felt uncomfortable and “watched” in front of a class was in a night class that was mostly adult males in law enforcement. Totally different vibe from 19 year olds! Then again, by their standards I am old.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      Maybe you could go about it in a way that doesn’t discuss her last outfit. Like “hey, just an fyi, people here can be kind of gossipy and judgmental of women’s outfit choices. Someone that used to work here was always talked about b/c of her low cut dresses. I felt bad for her. It sucks because I’ve had to conform my wardrobe to be comfortable here but at least I know. I wanted to make sure you knew too so you didn’t find out the hard way.”

      • Good call. BTW, at my school one of the profs wore a short-ish skirt and thigh-high leather boots one day, and everyone thought it was AWESOME. But she had the credentials to pull it off. I don’t think I know anyone else who could do that.

      • Yeah, she’s brand new so I think I’ll wait a bit. Today, her skirt is short but not as short as yesterday’s and she looks really professional (pencil skirt, bow blouse, jacket, flats), but that’s actually overdressed for how our younger faculty dress. She likes clothes so I’m sure she’ll settle in and, if it’s a problem, I’ll say something.

  5. Thanks to karenpadi and Diana Berry for advice about transitioning from big law to a smaller firm the other day! It’s been a crazy few days so I haven’t had a chance to respond.

    • karenpadi :

      You are welcome. Email me if you need any help. Female patent prosecutors need to stick together!

  6. anon in SF :

    I was wondering if I could get some opinions on this DVF dress. (link in reply). I am kind of obsessed, but I wonder how practical it would be. I don’t normally like the high/low hem thing, but I think it is fairly subtle here, and works with the a-line cut of the dress. I’m imagining it in winter with a black cardigan or blazer and suede heels.

    Thoughts? Will I just look like a fashion victim?

    • anon in SF :

      Here is a link to the dress:,default,pd.html?dwvar_D5673887G12_color=PSWBB&start=1&cgid=new-arrivals-fashion

      • Wow – that dress is stunning. I think the difference between the “high” and the “low” is small enough not to be distracting/attention getting. If it cost a little less, I would be ordering one for myself right now!

    • oh wow – that is striking. I’m not normally a high/low hem fan either, but I think this dress looks fabulous.

      • That is so gorgeous. I can’t even say anything else, I am so awestruck.

        Except, the tip on hemming an annoying high-low skirt to all one length is brilliant.

    • Oh, I love it. The high low hem is subtle enough to work, I think. Better yet, if you get sick of it, it will be super simple for a tailor to make it all one length. I would imagine at some point color blocking will look dated, too, but it’s also fairly subtle, color-wise, that I think you would be fine.

    • Ok, I LOVE this. But I feel compelled to say that you might encounter Star Trek comments from time to time. Hopefully it’s just me though!

      • anon in SF :

        Thanks for all the responses! I have a credit at the store, and I think I’m going to pull the trigger on this dress. I’ll let you know how it works out.

  7. Dress rant.

    What is it with these– I don’t even know what to call them (example to follow)– stitched/gathered waists on all the dresses lately? I feel like they look unfinished and call for a belt, but belt on top of gathering at a place that’s not close to natural waistline would look weird.

    With a bunch of dresses lately, my first reaction is, “CUTE!” but then I see this gathered waist business and am disappointed. When did this start happening? When is it going to stop??


    • a passion for fashion :

      Im wearing a similar dress from anthro today, with a belt. i lvoe it and get tons of complements.

    • Think they do it because it’s cheaper to make gathered, stretchy waistbands, than actually fit a waistband. Whomp whomp.

    • Oh, I have a few dresses like this. It looks fine on me – actually it looks more than fine, it’s flattering to my high waist. Sometimes I wear a belt, but usually the belt doesn’t hit in the right place on the dress.

  8. To TCFKAG! :

    This is 2/3 attorney – just wanted to say thanks for your help! You recommended a top for me (last week I think) and I’m wearing it today and it’s perfect! Thanks for your help!

    In case anyone’s curious, it’s this one:

  9. I dont’ think this is attractive. I like the suit from yestereday better. But Jim said it wood be a BAD IDEA to ask the Manageing Partner to bye me a suit on the firm’s Amex Card. I am still wateing for the wright time to ask the Manageing Partner for 10% of the billeings from my new cleints. I think this is the ONLY way to make sure that I make Partner SOON!

    • Thank’s for takeing my question, hun!

      If anyone is interested, I just posted the results of Poll #2.

    • Ptooey on this fake Ellen, Kat! Ptooey!

      • This is getting RIDICULUOS! I am the REAL Ellen! I’m tired of the FAKE Ellen saying that I AM THE FAKE Ellen, and her FAKE minoions doing the SAME. FOOEY on all of you!

        • Senior Attorney :

          I think the real Ellen is a MUTCH BETTOR SPELLOR than this fake Ellen.

  10. Late lunchtime TJ: I’m making the big move to another NYC firm that is business formal, forreal. So now, after years of practice, I need more suits. The catch is that I’m roundish and the usual suspects typically don’t work on me (no BB, Theory, Ann Taylor, etc.). Does anyone have excellent suit/suit separates recommendations for a size 16/18/20? Obviously happy to do some tailoring, but curious if anyone has any tried and true plus favorites.

    • LeChouette :

      i do not share your body type but have seen curvier girls look great in Tahari

    • Check yesterdays TPS thread – I think there was some discussion of this. Talbots came up. Some others, too.

    • Talbots & Ann Taylor. Both go up to size 18-20 online, and Talbots makes plus sizes too.

  11. Cookies and Wine :

    Can anyone recommend a nude low heel? I’m entering my eighth month of pregnancy and ready for a lower heel (anything from flat to maybe 2 in.). There are plenty of black options out there, but I haven’t been able to find anything in nude that looks comfortable and has even a bit of style to it. I think I’d prefer a slight heel over a complete flat, as I find that more comfortable on my back. And I’d prefer to spend less than $100 since I’m not sure how much I’ll use this after pregnancy. Thanks for any suggestions!

    • I don’t know what the color looks like in real life (ordered them this week), but I can say these are comfortable (have them in another color), and they’re on sale for a good price.,default,pd.html?variantSizeClass=&variantColor=PARFALE&cgid=50438757&prefn1=catalog-id&prefv1=easyspirit-catalog

  12. Yesterday there was a convo about paying ahead on student loans and asking the company to apply extra to principal rather than moving your due date.

    I’m loan-dumb. Can someone explain this to me? Why does it matter? As an example, I have one small $5000 loan I am tackling (before I get on to the big $100k boys). I am paying $500 a month instead of $50 a month. I have done this for the last 2 months, and it says I don’t owe anything until April 2013.

    Why do I want to specify it be applied to principal? If I don’t, I assumed that if I prepaid the interest already, and pay it off early, then they would be required to pay me back what I overpaid in interest. Am I missing something?

    • Seconded. We’re paying back my husband’s student loans, and since I don’t have any, I know nothing about them. We’re paying about $700/month instead of the required $100, but I did not realize there was a different set of ways to over-pay.

      • Annie I have been using google fu since may be too late in the day for the hive. I keep finding sites that recommend doing this (so I am going to do it) but I still have no idea why it matters whether they apply it to my next payment, or my principal?

        • I’m trying to think of an analogy that would work. But basically the interest rate is calculated against your principal. So if you are just prepaying your interest, putting water into a cup that has a hole in it. By putting it towards the principal, you are going to see headway in how much owe and how quickly you pay it off.

    • Check to make sure your overpayments aren’t credited to the future interest that will be applied to the principal. In other words, if your min. payment is $100/month but you pay $500 instead, the loan company may calculate it as having a $400 “credit” for your interest. On the other hand, if you apply the remainder towards your principal, then there’s less for them to charge interest on in the first place and you don’t pay as much in interest over time.

      As far as I know, the bank wouldn’t pay you back for the overpayment, but it would factor in what you’ve already paid into your payoff amount. So yeah, it would balance out, but you wouldn’t get paid back. But I’m happy to be corrected if I’m wrong! :-)

      • I think I get it. You would be paying more interest over time because they keep applying it to 15 years worth of interest when you’re going to pay it off in 5.

      • Boston Legal Eagle :

        This is really helpful to know before starting my loan repayments. I have all Stafford loans (subsidized and unsubsidized), and I think the standard loan repayment period is 10 years. I would ideally like to pay off my loans at a quicker rate than that so should I contact the loan company every time I want to make a higher payment and have this apply to to the principal – as in every month? It seems like there should be a way to do this one time, but according to everyone who responded yesterday, the loan companies will just automatically apply to interest first every time?

        • It depends on what company services your loans. When mine were with Citibank, there was a box to check that said to apply extra to principal. If my minimum payment was 200 and I paid 400 and checked the box, 200 would go directly to principal. When Citibank sold my loans to evil evil Sallie Mae, that option disappeared. Now, I make my minimum monthly payments, and schedule an extra payment for the day after my monthly payment posts. They apply extra payments first to fees, then interest, then principal. By paying it the following day, there has only been a tiny amount of interest accrued so the bulk goes to principal.

          • Boston Legal Eagle :

            Thanks for the information. I’ll have to see what my options will be – I’m guessing whoever the fed. govt. picks will not make it easy :/

  13. Hi! I know this is somewhat off topic but I was wondering if you knew where I could get a captcha plugin for
    my comment form? I’m using the same blog platform as yours and I’m having trouble finding one?
    Thanks a lot!

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